Founded in 1993, Flight Training International (FTI) is an FAA-approved training center authorized under Title 14, Part 142 to provide initial, recurrent, requalification, and specialty flight training. From the A320 to the B787, FTI offers flight training by airline pilots for airline pilots. FTI also offers specialty courses such as ATP-CTP training and RVSM training, and a complete training solution for aircraft operators, including courseware development, LMS access, and electronic grading and documentation of training records.
Image © FTI
FTI had an online scheduling tool that did not meet their evolving needs. This system offered plenty of planning functionality but was built around airplanes checking in and checking out maintenance and calculating fuel costs. Unfortunately, it was not functional for simulator training. FTI quickly realized that it was not going to work for their growing operation.
FTI also used another system they relied on for managing training, that offered a lot of features they liked but was a bit buggy, and they were promised fixes and upgrades the “next quarter, next quarter, next quarter… but those updates were never released. At that point, FTI realized they were starting to outgrow their current tools and decided to look for another solution.
FTI selected MINT TMS, which offered them a configurable solution and included powerful tools that drastically reduced the manual workload for their training planning, data collection, and instructor qualification management. FTI leverages the custom electronic grade sheets they built with the MINT Forms Builder to collect valuable training data from their instructors and students, streamlining the entire grading and record keeping process. They also rely on MINT’s powerful scheduling suite, with a configurable auto-scheduling tool, to plan training across their different locations. MINT has made their scheduling process less time consuming and helps them prevent schedule conflicts (for example, avoid scheduling an unavailable or unqualified instructor). FTI has created 100’s of custom reports in MINT to help them have a clear picture on their scheduled training courses and the progress of all their students, with many reports being generated automatically upon training completions and other triggers. All these forms and reports are built and managed by FTI users and customized to match FTI’s branding and appearance. In addition, FTI installed the MINT LMS add-on, allowing their instructors and students to complete mandatory web-based training directly in MINT. Since 2016, MINT has become FTI’s hub for accessing and viewing all training related data, in real-time, and has allowed them to provide a better overall training experience for their instructors and students.
Image © FTI
“MINT has given us the autonomy we need to manage and schedule training in the way that meets our specific requirements. We can create and edit our curriculums, records, forms, and reports in a quick manner and don’t need to rely on the vendor (MINT) when things need to be updated.”
In his role as FTI’s Training Center Manager, Chuck Hagan wears many hats in the training operation and spoke to us about MINT’s positive impact on their process. “It’s not just a scheduling platform. It’s a Training Management System. Our company is a training department, but you can run a training department off of this.”
Chuck highlighted the efficiency and savings that FTI has experienced with MINT TMS. “I had one employee dedicated to running end of course transcripts and another doing nothing but tracking instructor qualifications and the associated documentation. With MINT, I was able to set specific triggers that automated both processes and eliminated two fairly large salaries. Not only did we reduce head count, but we improved accuracy and timeliness in the process.”
FTI continued to share the importance that MINT has played in the survival of their small business.
“I could put a dollar value on the salaries that we were able to eliminate. We have eliminated the need for a full-time scheduler, which is probably a $50k to $ 75k-a-year job. We were also able to eliminate a 90k/year administrator and a $100k+/year flight manager by automating much of the work they were doing manually. For a small company, that is a substantial amount of money.”
Chuck Hagan | FTI’s Training Center Manager
In conclusion, Chuck has enjoyed working with our team and stated, “The MINT team are tinkerers. They like to tinker with things. If you present them with a problem or a question or query. They don’t see it as an opportunity to make money off you. They view it as a problem to be solved, take it as a personal challenge, and attempt to solve it. And I would say that they solve it most of the time. And if they can’t solve it, they’ll tell you why it can’t be done and offer an alternative solution to meet your needs.”